Alcoa just beats forecasts as US earnings begin

 
City A.M. Reporter
US BELLWETHER Alcoa posted a second-quarter loss yesterday as a slump in aluminium prices to near two-year lows last night offset growing demand in the aerospace and automobile markets.

Excluding items, however, Alcoa earned $61m from continuing operations, or six cents per share, which beat Wall Street estimates of five cents per share. The company’s shares rose slightly in after-hours trade.

The loss from continuing operations was $2m, or nil cents per share, compared with a profit of $322m, or 28 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Revenue fell nine per cent to $6bn, as aluminium prices dropped 18 per cent from last year, Pittsburgh-based Alcoa said. Analysts had lowered their expectations for Alcoa because of low aluminium prices.

Alcoa is the first of the US bellwether companies to release its quarterly earnings, giving a key overall indicator of industrial activity in country and kicking off the results season.